Coming up with creative promotional ideas to grow your local HVAC business is critical. Sure, even the big guys need a boost every now and then, but the heart of your small company depends on gaining (happy, loyal!) customers for consistent business—and unique HVAC business promotions are just the ticket.
If you think that all the best promotional ideas have already been done before, we’re happy to share a few tricks up our sleeve that you might not have tapped into yet. When it’s time to grow your HVAC business with a promotional push, think about these five strategies.
1. Offer Insight
What’s something everybody loves? Free stuff. And while you probably can’t offer your services pro-bono, there is one thing you can definitely provide your customers with, free of charge: information.
You might have heard about content marketing in the past and shot it down without much thought. Why would you waste time writing content when you could be spending time growing your HVAC company instead, right? Wrong. Many business owners under appreciate the value of content marketing, believe that building a website is too much of a headache, or think hiring writers is too expensive. The return on investment could surprise you.
Content marketing connects you to consumers. By presenting yourself as an authority in the industry, you start to earn their trust, and shortly after that, their business. Offer insight and share your wealth of information or experience by writing content on:
- Industry product reviews
- Talk about the tools you use and what you do and do not like about specific products
- How-to manuals
- You’re the expert – share your knowledge
- Company stories
- What wins and setbacks have you had – don’t be afraid to be honest here
- Frequently asked questions
- What are some common questions you are frequently asked before, on, or after the job?
- Recent industry news
- Show your customers that you are staying up-to-date in the industry
- Upcoming contests or events
- Give people a reason to keep coming back
By promoting your HVAC business as a one-stop shop for service and information, you’ll put yourself a head above your competitors. Up to 83% of consumers like receiving promotional products—including valuable content—with an advertising message attached, so consider adding it to your marketing campaign.
2. The Power of Search Results
A lot of us remember when Mom and Dad first started the family business. How they’d be the trusted, go-to choice for all the neighbors on the block, coming over for odd jobs at odder hours, building a business based on referrals from loyal customers who double as friends.
As nice as those memories may be, that business model is pretty outdated—especially if you’re looking for ways to grow your company. Building a business with a friendly face is still incredibly important, no doubt, but we live in a world where your online reputation trumps everything. What’s yours looking like?
Hopefully, a quick Google search shows only shining reviews, but if it doesn’t—or worse yet, if your business doesn’t show up at all—it’s time to start pumping up your online presence. If you think search results don’t matter, think again. Check out these numbers from Forbes:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 74% of consumers said that a positive review makes them trust a local business more
- Online reviews impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions
- Every 1-Star increase on Yelp means a 5-9% increase in revenue
Those one-off reviews from disgruntled customers aren’t going to just go away and take care of themselves. Reach out to the less-than-pleased customer in a public comment demonstrating your appreciation of their business, concern over the issue, and effort to make it right.
If you don’t already have reviews, consider another method: referrals. Grow your HVAC business by promoting referrals from the clients you already have (like going back to those Ma’ and Pa’ days). Over 50% people are likely to give a referral if offered an incentive, so consider setting up a rewards program to start raking in lots of leads. Need some inspiration?
Here are some different incentive programs:
- Free add-on services
- Discounts on a future service
- Gift cards or reward points
- A raffle drawing with a grand prize
With some careful strategy, you’ll be able to master your discounts and offers, promote your HVAC business, and drive your profit margins. It might cost you some money upfront, but the business you earn could be worth it, since 85% of consumers do business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional product.
3. Start Booking Jobs in Your Sleep
If your A/C has ever gone out in the dead of summer, you know how every moment in the grueling heat feels like an eternity as you struggle to get that cold air back on… and your customers feel the same pain. When they need an HVAC technician on the fly, the first thing they’ll do is hop on their phone to find the quickest HVAC company to book—because nobody has time to call and shop around when they need that cold air pumping again like, yesterday.
That’s why you need to make booking quick and convenient. It’s the 21st century: the faster and simpler, the better. Make sure you’re available to book jobs quicker than your competitors with an online booking option or you could risk losing out of the 70% of customers who prefer to book online.
The days of calling to book an appointment are numbered—even if your customers aren’t in dire need of service ASAP. Why? Nobody wants to waste time waiting on hold or dealing with receptionists. And what if they want to schedule an appointment after business hours? The customer will either:
A) Make a mental reminder to call back but it slips their mind in the morning, so you miss out on potential business,
B) Leave a voicemail, you call back, but they’ve already found somebody else, or
C) Schedule service with an HVAC company who offers online booking instead
None of these are good choices (unless you’re the competitor in Option C who’s about to scoop up your lost business). Up to 40% of online booking occurs after-hours, so if you’re looking to grow your HVAC business, it’s time to implement a software that lets you book jobs in your sleep.
As an added bonus, promoting your HVAC services through online booking lets you drive repeat business with automated email marketing. They book online, get an instant email confirmation, receive a text message reminder before their appointment (bye-bye wasting time on driving to customers who aren’t even home), receive a thank you for their business after service is complete, and a notification the next time they’re due for a service—without you ever needing to think about it. After all, email marketing is the top marketing tool used by small business.
Housecall Pro’s online job scheduling can bring your HVAC business over from the pen-and-paper past into the new digital domain—so you can worry less about scheduling appointments and more on building your client base.
The platform lets you connect your business to Facebook, Yelp, and Instagram so customers can access you from wherever they’re scrolling without the need to exit and navigate externally. And if you start promoting yourself on social media sites, you will really see business begin to boom.
4. Play to Your Seasons
When it comes to customer acquisition, it’s also important to consider seasonality. Many HVAC professionals experience business booms during the hottest and coldest parts of the year. When the air is either really hot or really cold, customers are much likelier to seek your services. You should really be putting your elbow grease in during the slower seasons, typically six to eight weeks before the weather significantly shifts.
Plan your sales and discounts with seasonality in mind, and make sure that your promos have an end date to them to instill a sense of “Gotta get that now” type of urgency. It’s smart to show exactly how much your customer could save by acting quickly. Highlight the discounted service price compared to the post-promotion price tag. If you play your HVAC promotions right during the downtime, you’ll likely see better margins come peak season.
5. Promote Your Products
Once you start seeing business growth from your HVAC promotions, you can begin pursuing more passive growth. How? By becoming a brand name through your promotional products! Consider adding your company logo to a smart home thermostat or heating system and offering it as a prize to your customer with the most referrals for a given month. The business you gain could be worth your initial investment. By putting on contests with epic prizes, you may boost brand recognition and garner more positive reviews from happy customers — a double-win.
If it’s not in your budget to raffle off a promotional smart home device, you can always brand low-cost items like pens, magnets, and even koozies.
With the above promotional strategies in your arsenal, pretty soon you might need HVAC service software to keep up with all your new business growth. For scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, and processing made easy, turn to Housecall Pro.